The Library Book

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  1. Bestselling Series
  2. 9 Things About THE LIBRARY BOOK and Susan Orlean
  3. THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean | Kirkus Reviews

This is not a book about an unsolved crime. Orlean moves smoothly between dealing with the fire and its aftermath, the life of the resurrected library today, and its foundation and subsequent history. Interesting facts leap out from virtually every page; we discover, for instance, that the greatest threat of theft did not come from the poor or disaffected, but from nascent Hollywood studios, which, careful with their finances, would send factotums to steal books needed for movie research.

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Above all, this excellent book is an unashamed love letter to the public library system. In this fine and heartfelt saga, she repays a lifelong debt with both passion and elegance. Topics History books Book of the day. Much of the book consists of its author wandering around a library building, watching and listening to the people inside it.

The search has not been entirely replaced by the search engine. Orlean finds old records, kept by librarians, of the hundreds of questions put to them every day, by people from all over the country:. He was writing a script.

Bestselling Series

Explained that one need only do what is natural and unforced; for instance, one does not rise while bathing, eating or playing cards. Read their responses here.

The surprise is that the library, though insistently undramatic, has been, pretty much since its inception, so insistently attractive to interesting characters. Charles Fletcher Lummis is here just a case in point.

9 Things About THE LIBRARY BOOK and Susan Orlean

The Los Angeles Public Library had opened in Women were forbidden from the main reading room at first but by , when Lummis arrived in Los Angeles from the Midwest, women were running the place. He built a private pleasure palace, employed a family of troubadours, threw the best parties in town and, despite being married, slept with seemingly every woman he met.

With her characteristic humour, insight and compassion, Orlean uses this terrible event as a lens through which to tell the story of all libraries - their history, their meaning and their uncertain future as they adapt and redefine themselves in a digital world. Filled with heart, passion and extraordinary characters, The Library Book discusses the larger, crucial role that libraries play in our lives.

Review quote Orlean has a knack for finding compelling stories in unlikely places.

This is classic Orlean - an exploration of a devastating fire becomes a journey through a world of infinite richness, populated with unexpected characters doing unexpected things, with unexpected passion. A beautifully written and richly reported account, it sheds new light on a thirty-year-old mystery - and, what's more, offers a moving tribute to the invaluableness of libraries. Somehow she manages to transform the story of a library fire into the story of literacy, civil service, municipal infighting and vision, public spaces in an era of increasing privatization and social isolation Beyond all that, like any good library, it's bursting with incredible tales and characters.

THE LIBRARY BOOK by Susan Orlean | Kirkus Reviews

There could be no better book for the bookish. Bibliophiles will love this fact-filled, bookish journey. But The Library Book is a particularly beautiful and soul-expanding book It will keep you spellbound from first page to last. A riveting mix of true crime, history, biography, and immersion journalism.

Susan Orlean, "The Library Book"